Warning issued to parents as one in 10 children are at risk of deadly disease in Victoria

Health experts urge parents to get their children vaccinated against mumps and rubella after ‘worrying’ drop in routine vaccination rates.

By 2022/23, only 92.5% of children aged five have received their first dose of MMR vaccine, compared with 84.5% of five-year-olds who have received their second dose.

Deadly Victorian disease could be making a comeback this year as children miss out on vital vaccinationsImage source: Getty

The figures suggest more than one in 10 people are at risk, the lowest level in 12 years since 2010-11.

The British Society for Immunology said the vaccination failure was “worrying” given the current “increase” in minor cases in England.

This dangerous bacteria can cause serious problems including pneumonia, meningitis, blindness and seizures if it spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain.

The warning comes as vaccination programs across England fail to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for 2022/23.

WHO recommends that at least 95% of children nationwide be vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases to prevent outbreaks.

However, NHS data shows that no routine vaccine program reached the threshold over the 12-month period.

In the UK, babies are immunized against meningitis B and rotavirus at eight weeks of age.

They also receive a “six-in-one” vaccination, which helps fight polio, tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (a bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections).

Dosing ends at 12 and 16 weeks.

In 2022/23, 91.8% of babies in England received the six-in-one vaccine before their first birthday, with 93.7% receiving the latest pneumococcal vaccine and 91% receiving the meningitis B vaccine.

Only 88.7% of people are vaccinated against rotavirus, a virus that causes diarrhea in infants.

Professor Helen Bedford, professor of pediatric public health at University College London (UCL), urged parents not to delay and ensure their children’s MMR vaccine is up to date.

She said: “It’s never too late to get vaccinated and I urge parents and young people to check their vaccination status, which can be done by checking their child’s red book.

“If in doubt, please consult your GP surgery, where a child or young person can receive the MMR vaccine if they are not fully vaccinated.”

Dr Doug Brown, chief executive of the British Society for Immunology, said: “It is particularly worrying that today’s statistics show that only 84.5% of children have received their second dose of MMR vaccine by the age of five, well below the British Society for Immunology’s Recommended 95% level. WHO.

“Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and cases are currently increasing in England.”

Separate data from UKHSA found that average cases in England have reached their highest level in three years, with 141 confirmed cases recorded between January and July 2023.

Dr Doug added: “We must ensure we increase vaccination rates to stop dietary transmission and provide our communities with the best possible protection against this serious disease.”

Practical issues caused by the NHS crisis are thought to be one of the key reasons for the drop in adoption.

Professor Helen previously told The Sun the lower vaccination numbers could be due to a shortage of healthcare workers across the country.

“We currently have a shortage of GPs, nurses and health visitors, which means parents have less support in caring for their newborns.

“The decline in health tourists is particularly concerning,” she added.

“Often, health visitors are the only people discussing vaccinations with parents.”

Figures from NHS Digital show there were 5,870 health visitors in July 2022, a 43% drop from the peak of 10,309 in October 2015.

“All of these factors combine to reduce immunization rates,” she added.

Measuring symptoms include the typical rash of reddish-brown spots, as well as fever and sore, red eyes.

Most people start to get better with bed rest after about a week, but people should call their GP or NHS 111 if they think they have a case at home.

Vaccinations and when to get them

For best protection, it’s important to get your vaccinations on time, but if you or your child miss a vaccination, contact your GP to catch it up

8 weeks old

Six-in-one vaccine

rotavirus vaccine

MenB vaccine

12 weeks

Six-in-one vaccine (second dose)

pneumococcal vaccine

Rotavirus vaccine (second dose)

16 weeks

Six-in-one vaccine (third dose)

MenB vaccine (second dose)

Vaccines for children aged 1 to 15 years

1 year

Hib/MenC vaccine (first dose)

MMR vaccine (first dose)

Pneumococcal vaccine (second dose)

MenB vaccine (third dose)

2-15 years

Influenza vaccine for children (annual until the child completes 11th grade of secondary school)

3 years and 4 months

MMR vaccine (second dose)

4-in-1 preschool booster vaccine

12-13 years old

HPV vaccine

14 years

3-in-1 adolescent booster vaccine

ACWY vaccine for men

Image source: NHS

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